Chevrolet celebrates 100th birthday, sells 1 millionth Cruze

Chevrolet turns 100 this week, and to celebrate it has delivered its 1 millionth Cruze compact sedan.

It's a big week for the bowtie brand: To help celebrate its 100th anniversary, Chevrolet has delivered its 1 millionth Cruze compact sedan.

The automaker didn't specify just where delivery number 1 million took place, but it did confirm today that the compact sedan is in fourth place globally among all competitive vehicles. In North America, actually the last major market where the car debuted, Cruze is in first place through the first 10 months of the year.

"I can't think of a better birthday present," said Chris Perry, vice president, global Chevrolet marketing and strategy, in a statement released to the media.

Cruze went on sale overseas in 2009 before hitting the North American market about a year ago. The automaker says that its largest markets are, in order: China, the United States, Russia, Canada, Mexico, India, Turkey, South Korea, Israel and Spain.

Chevrolet birthday
The Chevrolet brand was first incorporated on November 3, 1911, by Swiss emigrant Louis Chevrolet and then-ousted GM founder William C. Durant. Although the brand's namesake displayed a better knack for racing than managing, his French-Swiss surname perseveres to this day.

Chevrolet proved sufficiently successful during the early days of the auto industry that Durant was able to reacquire GM in 1916, shortly after the highly successful Chevrolet Series 490 was introduced.

The Series 490 was aimed squarely at Ford's Model T, but it offered more refinement at a price that was initially $5 less ($490, hence the nameplate). Although the T would go on to be the better seller, the Chevrolet proved to be its most serious adversary, further establishing a nearly century-old rivalry between the two cross-Detroit brands.

Chevrolet would go on to be a hugely successful nameplate, although it was not heavily marketed overseas until a few years ago when GM consolidated some brands to push Chevrolet into Asia and Eastern Europe.